As a Southern California native, the closest thing I saw to fall growing up was Idyllwild, Pine-Cove (which to be fair, is pretty spectacular). A few years ago, I booked a last minute trip in October to visit my brother in Seattle, Washington for the weekend and I was most excited to see REAL fall foliage. I was like a kid in a candy shop, playing in piles of leaves. My autumn trip to Seattle was quick but we packed in so much adventuring in such a short time. If you’re looking for ideas on where to spend fall in or near Seattle, Washington, here are a few ideas for inspiration!
Ravenna Park is a beautiful little wooded park perfect for nature walks, biking and running. We visited Ravenna Park while on a hunt for GOLDEN LARCHES. What are golden larches you may ask? Larches are trees among the pine family because they have needles instead of leaves and they are the only tree in the pine family to change colors and lose their needles in the fall! They turn a super cool golden color when they change colors and they can only be found in certain regions of the US and Canada…Seattle being one of those regions! One of the only places in Seattle to see the larches is Ravenna Park. Sadly, the larches hadn’t yet changed colors when we visited but we did get to walk along the forest and we enjoyed plenty of views of fall foliage from many other types of trees.
The second place you can find golden larches in Seattle is the Washington Park Arboretum. We strolled through this entire park searching for these dang larches only to realize they were located adjacent to where we parked our car. We didn’t notice them because they hadn’t yet changed colors. Aside from the golden larches, Washington Park Arboretum is one of the best places to see fall foliage. The park is made up of 230-aces of lush gardens and during October/November you will see vibrant yellow, orange and red trees at every turn. It’s open every day from dawn to dusk and is free of charge. However, the Japanese Garden is located at the south end of the Arboretum and does have an entrance fee.
Highway 2 – Steven’s Pass
We took this beautiful scenic drive on our way from Seattle to hike Minotaur Lake and visit Leavenworth, WA!
Leavenworth is an adorable German themed town with the North Cascades as its backdrop. In the fall, the colors are jaw dropping. We visited in October, which also means Oktoberfest. We got to see tons of people walking around authentic Oktoberfest outfits. For Oktoberfest in Munich men wear a traditional Tracht and women wear a traditional dirndl. We got to shop around, drink German beer and eat schnitzel and cabbage rolls for dinner!
I wouldn’t really categorize Ballards Farmers Market as one of the best places to see fall foliage in Seattle, but the streets sure were pretty and there’s just something about a Sunday farmers market in autumn that makes me happy. The Ballard Farmers Market is open every Sunday from 9:00AM – 2:00PM.
Here are a few other locations that are supposed to be spectacular to visit during autumn. We unfortunately did not get the chance to visit these areas during this trip but that’s okay! Just means I’ll have to go back for another fall trip!
University of Washington
I hope you enjoyed seeing fall in Seattle through my eyes. Next up on my travel list is to see Seattle in the spring! While I may be hooked on golden larches now, I hear the cherry blossoms are a whole different kind of magical. Travel on my friends!